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Newcastle United away tickets new plan – Leads to hundreds of empty seats at Brighton

6 months ago
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A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article for The Mag that was titled ‘Newcastle United away tickets new plan – Law of unintended consequences flagged up for Brighton.’

Newcastle fans with away tickets, warned that there will be spot checks, whereby if season ticket holders are found to have passed them on to other fans, they could lose all their loyalty points and potentially their season tickets.

I said that with this new Newcastle United away tickets plan, Brighton massively flagged up the law of unintended consequences for NUFC, as I’ll explain below.

By putting this new plan into action for Newcastle United away tickets, I am sure they did it because they thought it the best thing to do, BUT hadn’t fully understood how things work – the law of unintended consequences.

Any fan with a clue knows, that it isn’t 3,000 season ticket holders who travel to Brighton for any away match, never mind one moved for TV onto a Saturday night!

Reality is that a game like this sees NUFC season ticket holders buy tickets and ex-pats down London and the south in general, get the chance to go to a game.

That is how it works, that is how NUFC are so well supported when we play at Southampton, Brighton etc.

As numerous fans, especially those who were at the match, have reported, there were clearly hundreds of empty seats spread around the away end. All the tickets had been sold BUT hundreds of them not used.

Various reasons have been put forward as causing / contributing to this, from fans buying a ticket to get the loyalty point but having no intention of going, right through to travel issues and strikes on the trains etc deterring supporters from travelling, even though they had already bought a ticket.

Whether either / both of these were factors, as well as others, I can tell you one thing for sure.

If it hadn’t been for this new club ‘plan’ on Newcastle United away tickets and the warnings / checks on whether tickets are being used by the season ticket who bought them, I can guarantee you that like every other previous season, you would have struggled to find a single empty seat in that away end.

If for whatever reason anybody wasn’t going to be using an away ticket bought for Brighton, that ticket would have somehow found itself into the hands of another real fan, at face value or less (gifted). That is how it works, the informal network of regular / irregular travelling Newcastle United fans, ensures a full away end, or at least it used to.

Ironically, the fact that there is this Premier League ongoing scheme to encourage / ensure as many fans of the 20 clubs travel away as possible, helped contribute to this new problem. With all PL tickets only allowed to be sold for a maximum of £30, it makes it more enticing for some to buy an away ticket just for the loyalty point. For Brighton, it dropped right down to those with one loyalty point able to buy a Brighton ticket, so for those struggling to build up their loyalty points, clearly some seeing £30 as a reasonable cost to add one (by comparison, for the Villa home match it was £44 to sit in the Leazes or Gallowgate), even if knowing they wouldn’t use the ticket / couldn’t pass it on, for fear of losing any loyalty points they do have and indeed potentially losing their season ticket as well.

Whatever issues the club were trying to solve with their new Newcastle United away tickets plan (and I don’t deny some issues existed), for sure, they haven’t improved the situation and indeed, have made things far far worse.

They need to drop altogether these new plans of checks / penalties ASAP, or go back to the drawing board and come up with some ideas on how to reach a more positive outcome.

Newcastle United official announcement on how away tickets are now going to be allocated – 1 August 2023:

Tickets for Newcastle United’s away fixture against Manchester City on Saturday, 19th August will go on sale this week.

From 14:00 BST on Wednesday, 2nd August, current 2023/24 season ticket holders with 100 and above away points can purchase their tickets.

There will be a daily points drop at 14.00 BST (excluding weekends) and as such the first points drop for Manchester City will be Thursday, 3rd August at 14:00 BST (subject to availability).

Following supporter consultation there will be a limited allocation open to season ticket holder ballot for those who do not meet the away points threshold. This ballot will go live after the final points drop and will be open for entry for 24 hours.

Supporters will be asked to input card details. If they are successful in the ballot, payment will be taken and the season ticket holder will be notified by email. Those that are unsuccessful in the ballot will not be contacted and will not be charged. Please note: travel groups cannot be facilitated in the ballot. Friends and family that meet the eligibility criteria can book together through the linked family and friends functionality.

There will be the opportunity of digital away tickets at certain clubs across the season, starting with the Manchester City match, where United will be allocated a portion of digital tickets. Please note these digital tickets and all paper tickets are for the sole use of the supporter making the purchase under their Newcastle United supporter number and are strictly non-transferable.

There will be random spot checks at away stadiums throughout the season and failure to produce appropriate ID matching the purchaser supporter number will result in removal of your loyalty points and/or your season ticket being voided.

AGE RESTRICTIONS

Under-14s

Supporters under 14 are not allowed to enter the stadium without an adult (over 18). As a result, and in line with reasonable adjustments, any supporter who is under 14 must attend with their parent/guardian and are required to pay the prevailing rate for both their seats. For the avoidance of doubt, this applies to all disabled supporters, whether walking ambulant or who require the use of a wheelchair.

Over 14 and under 18

Supporters over 14 and under 18 can enter the stadium unaccompanied, however they are not allowed to be responsible for another supporter. Only supporters over 18 can be responsible for a child under 18

RAIL SEATING

Important information regarding rail seating in level 1 blocks 113 and 114

Please note that blocks 113 and 114 in level 1 feature rail seating, meaning supporters in this section of the stadium have the option of standing throughout the match. For any access related queries, please email accessteam@mancity.com.

Prices

Adult: £30
Senior (Over 65): £25
18-21 years: £25
Under-18: £18
Wheelchair/ambulant: £20 (with the provision of a free personal assistant, subject to qualifying documentation held on the club’s ticketing system)

ONLINE BALLOT PROCESS

Each member has a unique supporter ID and can therefore only register once for the ballot (so if you are included in a group application, you cannot also make an individual application at the same time). The maximum number of supporters who may be included within a ballot application is six.

If you wish to be included in the ballot so that, if successful, you would be seated together in a group with friends and/or family members, then you must register all of the proposed members of that group in one application only.

To apply for friends and family members, they must be season ticket holders and be linked to your account via the ‘My Friends & Family’ option within your online ticketing account. Please ensure that, before submitting a group application as lead applicant, you have (i) completed and checked this in your account settings and (ii) obtained the prior consent of those friends and/or family members on whose behalf you are applying.

It is imperative that you check and select the correct age band for each ballot applicant, since failure to do so may result in an unsuccessful application.

Each applicant (and, in the case of a group application, the lead applicant submitting on behalf of the group) will need to enter credit/debit card details when submitting a ballot application. No payment will be processed at the point of registering in the ballot.

If you are successful, the automated balloting system will automatically allocate you (and in the case of a group application, each of the members of that group) a seat which could be in any of the available seats.

Once the deadline date has passed for ballot registrations, the ballot will be drawn randomly. The season ticket applicants who are successful in the ballot will automatically have their credit/debit card payment charged for the total cost of ticket(s) allotted (including applicable booking fees and delivery fees). Each successful applicant (and, in the case of a successful group application, the lead applicant submitting on behalf of the group) will receive a confirmation email.

If your payment is not successful the Box Office will contact you. You will then have 24 hours to complete payment following initial contact. If payment is not received by this time, the tickets will be re-balloted and allocated to another eligible supporter.

If you do not receive an email then, unfortunately the number of ballot applications received has exceeded available ticket capacity and you have not been successful. Supporters can check whether or not they are successful in the ballot via the ‘My Account’ option within their online ticketing account.

Please note: travel groups are not in operation for the ballot allocation.’

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